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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007 Apr;76(4):703-5.

High prevalence of HIV and syphilis in a remote native community of the Peruvian Amazon.

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Instituto de Medicina Tropical "Alexander von Humboldt," Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.


Little data are available on how HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) affect indigenous people in Latin America, including Peru. We conducted a sero-epidemiologic survey of HIV infection and syphilis in a native community, the Chayahuita, an indigenous population in the Amazon region of Peru. The seroprevalences of HIV and syphilis in adults were 7.5% (6 of 80) and 6.3% (5 of 80), respectively. None of the participants had ever used a condom. Male to male sexual behavior was common. At the current levels of HIV prevalence, there is the risk of a negative impact on the survival of the Chayahuita ethnic group as a whole. The outcomes of this study highlight the need for urgent medical and anthropologic approaches to stop HIV transmission in indigenous Amazonian communities.

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